to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
Today we play music from the British
band Coldplay ...
a question about the circus …
tell about a wet and wild public art project in New York City.
New York City Waterfalls
to New York City this summer have the chance to see four special art
installations that are making a big splash. The Public Art Fund group hired
Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson to create the New York City Waterfalls.
Faith Lapidus has more about this interesting public art project in the East
The four New York City Waterfalls range in height from twenty-seven to
thirty-six meters tall. They are made from common industrial materials like
scaffolding, pumps and piping. One waterfall is under the Brooklyn Bridge,
while another flows between Piers Four and Five in Brooklyn. There is one on
Pier Thirty-five in Manhattan, and another on the north side of Governors
Island. Together, these waterfalls move one hundred thirty-two thousand
liters of water a minute.
The public art project cost more than fifteen million dollars and
took two years to plan.
are several ways to get a good look at the waterfalls. The New York City
Department of Transportation organized a bicycle route that suggests riding
across the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. Or you can sit and enjoy looking at
them from several parks. You can even see some of them while riding some public
transportation trains between Manhattan and Brooklyn. We decided to take a Circle
Line boat tour to fully experience the view from the water.
TOUR GUIDE: "Now,
here we go into the East River, looking for waterfalls. They are the work of
the artist forty-one-year-old Olafur Eliasson, born in Denmark, grew up in Iceland
and now works in his studio in Berlin. He heads up a team of thirty. Not just
artists but mechanics, architects and even plumbers."
Olafur Eliasson chose the form of the waterfall
because he says it is easily recognizable. He wanted people to think of the
water of the East River as more than just a simple surface surrounded by
buildings. He wanted people to have a nature-based experience within a city
environment. He said by lifting the
water up into falls, he called attention to the physical presence of the water.
He wanted people to see the natural forces of gravity, wind and daylight
changing the water.
the opening ceremony in June, Eliasson said the waterfalls are about public
space and belong to the people of New York City. The falls were carefully built so that they do not harm organisms
living in the river. The materials used to make the falls will be reused. And
the waterfalls are temporary. Visitors have until October thirteenth to enjoy
this unusual public art project.
History of the Circus
listener question this week comes from Ukraine. Olga wants to know more about
the history of the circus.
During the civilization of ancient Rome,
the circus was a building for large events.
These included horse racing, athletic competitions and wild animal
eighteenth century British horse expert Philip Astley is often called the
creator of the modern circus. He opened
a riding school in London where he also performed dangerous tricks for the
public. His shows grew to include performances by acrobats, jugglers, clowns
and strong men.
Circuses are usually performed in a
circular area called a ring. In fact,
the word "circus" comes from the Latin word for "circle." Circuses became very popular in Europe during
the nineteenth century. Some European cities still have circus buildings which
date from this period. These include Paris, France; Stockholm, Sweden, and
In the United States, P.T. Barnum
developed a circus show that included animals performing tricks and people with
unusual skills. P.T. Barnum's Grand
Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan and Circus began in eighteen seventy. At the time, it was the largest circus in
American history. Two years later Barnum was calling his circus "The
Greatest Show on Earth."
most famous American circuses were Barnum and Bailey and the Ringling Brothers.
By nineteen hundred seven, the two companies merged into one. But they performed separately for twelve
It was a
major event when a circus such as Ringling Brothers came to perform in a city
or town. During the early twentieth century, this circus required about one
hundred railroad cars to carry equipment, one thousand workers and hundreds of
of Ringling's most famous circus performers included the acrobat Lillian
Leitzel, the clown Lou Jacobs and the animal trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams.
the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus has two separate shows which
travel across the United States by train. Another smaller show travels by
Several other groups have reinvented the
circus with artistic performances that do not include animals. These include the Cirque du Soleil from
Canada, Circus Baobab from Guinea and the Pickle Circus in San Francisco,
British rock band Coldplay is making history with its fourth album, "Viva la
Vida." The album sold more than seven
hundred thousand copies in the United States during the first week it was
released in June. It also became the most paid-for downloaded album in history.
Barbara Klein plays three songs from this popular record.
the song "Lost." It is a good example
of Coldplay's skill in creating dramatic rock melodies that are hard to forget.
The lead singer, Chris Martin, often sings in a warm and recognizable high,
falsetto voice. The title "Viva la Vida" or "long live life" comes from a
painting by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Chris Martin says he has great
respect for the boldness of her work.
Coldplay said it wanted to try something
different with "Viva la Vida." The album includes heavier drum sounds and more
serious songs. The band hired the
famous record producer Brian Eno to help them with the album. Eno is best known
for working with the Irish rock group U2.
Here is the song "Strawberry Swing."
Coldplay has used creative methods to
advertise the album. For one week, they released the song "Violet Hill" free of
charge on the Internet. They also gave free performances in New York City,
Barcelona, Spain, and London, England. Coldplay even appeared in an
advertisement for the iTunes online music store. We leave you with "Viva la
Vida," the title song of Coldplay's best-selling album.
Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program
written and produced by Dana Demange.
To read the text of this program and download audio, go to our Web site,
Join us again next week for AMERICAN
MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.